Dr Maren Huck

Maren Huck

Position: Lecturer in Animal Behavioural Ecology

College: College of Life & Natural Sciences

Department: Biosciences

Subject area: Biological Sciences

Research Centre: Environmental Sustainability Research Centre

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I am a lecturer in Animal Behavioural Ecology.

Teaching responsibilities

I participate in various modules in Biology and Zoology, including:

  • Advanced Methods in Zoology (6BY509)
  • Behavioural Ecology (6BY502)
  • Biological Basis of Animal Behaviour (5BY503)
  • Conservation Biology in Principal & Practice (7BY501)
  • Ecology (4BY503) 
  • Research Methods (5BY535)
  • Essential Skills for Scientists (7BY514)
  • Field Biology (5BY510)
  • Vertebrate Biology (5BY516)
  • Wildlife Conservation (6BY508)
  • Independent Studies (6BY995)
  • Independent Scholarly Activities (7BY999)

Furthermore, I am programme coordinator for all With Foundation programmes within the biosciences (Biology, Biomedical Health, Human Biology, and Zoology).

Professional interests

I received my PhD at the University of Bielefeld, Germany / the German Primate Centre in Göttingen in 2004 with a study on behavioural, genetic, and hormonal aspects of the mating system of a small Neotropical primate species.

After a brief postdoc at the German Primate Centre extending my genetic studies on the species, I went for two years to the University of Sussex, where I studied the behaviour and social structure of urban badgers.

My next postdoc led me to Eastern Poland where I modelled in a GIS approach corridors and barriers for populations of wolves and lynx in Poland. I then started a collaboration with the Owl Monkey Project of Prof. E. Fernandez-Duque of the University of Pennsylvania (now Yale University) to study aspects of the mating system and male care in owl monkeys of northern Argentina.

Research interests

Generally I am interested in the evolution of mating systems and male care, with a special focus on mammals. I have started to establish a burying beetle colony at the university to allow students to study these topics in an invertebrate system.

I am also very interested in the behaviour and ecology of domestic cats as well as their impact on small mammal and bird populations.

Membership of professional bodies

I am a member of the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour, the International Primatological Society, and the Deutsche Ethologische Gesellschaft (German Ethological Society).

Additionally, I am Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Postgraduate qualifications

Diplom in Biology (Dipl Biol.) , University of Bielefeld, Germany (which is equivalent to a Masters).

Research qualifications

Dr. rer nat. in Biology, University of Bielefeld / German Primate Centre.

Teaching qualifications

Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education

Recent publications


Grimsditch, G,  Huck, M., Pisapia, C., Furaha, J., Obura, D., Abdulla, A. & Sweet, M.J. (in press) Variation in size frequency distribution of coral populations under different fishing pressures in two contrasting locations in the Indian Ocean. Marine Environmental Research. doi: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2017.09.017

Huck, M., Juárez, C. P., Rotundo, M.A., Dávalos, V.M. & Fernandez-Duque, E. (2017). Mammals and their activity patterns in a forest area in the Humid Chaco, northern Argentina. Checklist 13(4): 363–378. doi: 10.15560/13.4.363.

Huck, M. (2017) Migration. The International Encyclopedia of Primatology (Fuentes, A., ed.). 1-3. doi: 10.1002/9781119179313.wbprim0246

Huck, M. & Fernandez-Duque, E. (2017) The floater's dilemma: use of space by wild solitary Azara's owl monkeys, Aotus azarae, in relation to group rangess. Animal Behaviour, 127:33-41. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2017.02.025

Svensson, M.S., Shanee, S., Shanee, N., Bannister, F.B.,  Cervera, L.,  Donati, G.,  Huck, M., Jerusalinsky, L.,  Juarez, C. P., Maldonado, A.,  Martinez Mollinedo, J.,  Méndez-Carvajal, P. G.  Molina Argandoña, M.A., Mollo Vino, A.D., Nekaris, KAI, Peck, M., Rey-Goyeneche, J., Spaan, D., Nijman, V. (2017). Disappearing in the night: an overview on trade and legislation of night monkeys in South and Central America. Folia Primatologica, 87(5):332-348. doi: 10.1159/00045480


Huck, M., Juárez, C. P., & Fernandez-Duque, E. (2016). Relationship between moonlight and nightly activity patterns of the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) and some of its prey species in Formosa, Northern Argentina. Mammalian Biology, 82: 57-64. doi: 10.1016/j.mambio.2016.10.005



Huck, M., Babb P., Schurr, T., &Fernandez-Duque, E. (2014) Correlates of genetic monogamy in socially monogamous mammals: insights from Azara’s owl monkeys. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281, 20140195.

Huck, M., van Lunenburg, M., Dávalos, V., Rotundo, M., Di Fiore, A. & Fernandez-Duque, E. 2014. Double effort: parental behavior of wild Azara’s owl monkeys in the face of twins. American Journal of Primatology.doi: 10.1002/ajp.22256


Fernandez-Duque, F., Huck, M., Dávalos, V. & Fernandez-Duque, E. (2013).Estado poblacional de la moitú (Craxfasciolata) en la selva en galería del riacho Pilagá, Formosa, Argentina. El Hornero. 28(2): 65-74

Huck, M., Rotundo, M., Juárez, C., & Fernandez-Duque, E. (2013). Primera evidencia craneal y registros documentados de Cuniculus paca (Podentia, Cuniculidae) para el Chaco Húmedo de Argentina.. Mastozoología Neotropical. 20(1): 153-157.

Fernandez-Duque, E. & Huck, M. (2013) Till death do us part: Intense intra-sexual competition, aggression and death in a sexually monomorphic primate species. PLoS ONE. 8, e53724


Huck, M. & Fernandez-Duque, E. (2012) Survival of a wild puma missing a foot. Cat News. 57:7-8

Klavins, J., Huck, M., Rotundo, M., Fernandez-Duque, E. (2012) Trampa-cámara descubre el primer Aguilucho Alas Anchas Buteo platypterus en el Chaco argentino. Revista Cotinga. 34, 57-59.

Huck, M. & Fernandez-Duque, E. (2012). Building babies when dads help: infant development of owl monkeys and other primates with allo-maternal care. In: Building Babies: Primate Development in Proximate and Ultimate Perspective (Ed. by Clancy, K., Hinde, K. & Rutherford, J.). New York: Springer. pp 361-385.

Fernandez-Duque, E., Di Fiore, A., Huck, M. (2012). The behavior, ecology, and social evolution of New World monkeys. In: The Evolution of Primate Societies (Mitani J, Call J, Kappeler P, Palombit R, & Silk J, eds).

Huck, M. & Fernandez-Duque, E. 2012. Children of divorce: effects of adult replacements on previous offspring in Argentinean owl monkeys. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 66, 505-517. 


Huck, M., Rotundo, M., Fernandez-Duque, E. 2011. Growth and development in wild owl monkeys (Aotus azarai) of Argentina. International Journal of Primatology, 32, 1133-1152.

Huck, M., Jędrzejewski, W., Borowik, T., Jędrzejewska, B., Nowak, S. & Mysłajek, R. W. 2011. Analyses of least cost paths for determining effects of habitat types on landscape permeability: wolves in Poland. Acta Theriologica, 56, 91-101.


Huck, M., Jędrzejewski W., Borowik, T., Miłosz-Cielma, M., Schmidt, K., Jędrzejewska, B., Nowak, S., and Mysłajek, R. W. 2010. Habitat suitability, corridors and dispersal barriers for large carnivores in Poland. Acta Theriologica, 55, 177-192.


Davison, J., Huck, M., Delahay, R. J. & Roper, T. J. (2009) Restricted ranging behaviour in a population of urban badgers. Journal of Zoology, 277, 45-53doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2008.00509.x.


Davison, J., Huck, M., Delahay, R. J. & Roper, T. J. 2008. Urban badger setts: characteristics, patterns of use and management implications. Journal of Zoology, 275, 190-200.

Huck, M., Davison, J. & Roper, T. J. 2008. Predicting European badger sett distribution in urban environments, Wildlife Biology,14, 188-198.

Huck, M., Frantz, A. C., Dawson, D. A., Burke, T. & Roper, T. J. (2008) Low genetic variability, female biased dispersal and high movement rates in an urban population of Eurasian badgers (Meles meles). Journal of Animal Ecology, 77, 905-915.

Huck, M., Davison, J. & Roper, T. J. (2008) Comparison of two sampling schemes and three home range estimators using radio-tracking data from urban badgers. Wildlife Biology, 14, 467-477.


Huck, M., Roos, C., & Heymann, E. W. 2007. Spatio-genetic population structure in moustached tamarins, Saguinus mystax. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 132, 576-583.

Löttker, P., Huck, M., Zinner, D. P. & Heymann, E. W. 2007. Grooming relationships between breeding females and adult group members in a cooperatively breeding primate. American Journal of Primatology, 69, 1-14.

Smith, A. C., Knogge, C., Huck, M., Löttker, P., Buchanan-Smith, H. M., Heymann, E. W. & Smith, A. B. 2007. Long-term patterns of sleeping site use in wild saddleback (Saguinus fuscicollis) and mustached tamarins (S. mystax): effects of foraging, thermoregulation, predation, and resource defense constraints, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 134, 340–353.


Huck, M., Löttker, P., Heymann, E. W. & Heistermann, M. 2005. Characterization and social correlates of fecal testosterone and cortisol levels in wild male moustached tamarins (Saguinus mystax). International Journal of Primatology, 26, 159-179.

Huck, M., Löttker, P., Böhle, U.-R. & Heymann, E. W. 2005. Paternity and kinship patterns in polyandrous moustached tamarins (Saguinus mystax). American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 127, 449-464.


Huck, M., Löttker, P. & Heymann, E. W. 2004. The many faces of helping: Possible costs and benefits of infant carrying and food transfer in moustached tamarins (Saguinus mystax). Behaviour, 141, 915-934.

Huck, M., Löttker, P. & Heymann, E. W. 2004. Proximate mechanisms of reproductive monopolization in male moustached tamarins (Saguinus mystax). American Journal of Primatology, 64, 39-56.

Löttker, P., Huck, M. & Heymann, E. W. 2004. Demographic parameters and events in wild moustached tamarins (Saguinus mystax). American Journal of Primatology, 64, 425-449.

Löttker, P., Huck, M., Heymann, E. W. & Heistermann, M. 2004. Endocrine correlates of reproductive status in breeding and non-breeding wild female moustached tamarins. International Journal of Primatology, 25, 919-937.

Huck, M., Löttker, P., Heymann, E. W., & Heistermann, M. 2004. Aspects of the behavioral and endocrine ontogeny of six moustached tamarins, Saguinus mystax (Callitrichinae), Neotropical Primates, 12, 131-135.

1999 - 2003

Shahuano Tello, N., Huck, M. & Heymann, E. W. 2002. Boa constrictor attack and successful group defence in moustached tamarins, Saguinus mystax. Folia Primatologica, 73, 146-148.

Laughlin, K., Huck, M. & Mendl, M. 1999. Disturbance effects of environmental stimuli on pig spatial memory. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 64, 169-180.

Recent conferences

International Primatological Conference, Aug 2016, Chicago. "The Floater's Dilemma: Home-range use of wild solitary Azara's owl monkeys (Aotus azarae) in relation to group ranges"

Behaviour 2013 (33rd IEC), Aug 2013, Newcastle-Gateshead, UK. "Genetic monogamy and extra-pair paternity in pair-living mammals"

8th Göttinger Freilandtage, Sep 2011, Göttingen, Germany. "Till death do us part? - Intense sexual competition constrains tenure length in a serial monogamous, sexual monomorphic species"

 AAPA conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Apr 12-16, 2011, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. "Children of divorce: effects of adult replacements on survival and dispersal of young owl monkeys in the Argentinean Chaco"

Experience in industry

Research posts

  • German Primate Centre: Spatio-genetic structure in moustached tamarins. February - October 2005
  • University of Sussex: Behaviour and social structure in urban badgers. December 2005 - November 2007
  • Mammal Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences: Analysis of connectivity and barriers to wolf dispersal among patches of suita. September 2008 - September 2009
  • University of Pennsylvania: Fatherhood and paternal care in socially monogamous owl monkeys (Aotus azarai). January 2010 - December 2011
  • German Primate Centre: Guest scientist. January 2012 - November 2012.

International experience

  • Sep 1995- Jul 1996: 1 year study abroad (University of Edinburgh)
  • Sep 2000 - Feb 2002: Peru (data collection for PhD)
  • Dec 2005 - Nov 2007: Postdoc in Brighton (that's abroad for me :-)
  • Sep 2008 - Sep 2009: Postdoc in Białowieża, Poland
  • Jan 2010 - Dec 2011: Postdoc in Formosa, Argentina and Philadelphia, USA
  • Dec 2012 - present: Derby University

In the media

Some of the research with my collaborator from Yale University has received media coverage (the Times (19th May 2014) and various international newspapers) and I have been interviewed by the Guardian (30th Jul 2013) to comment on scientific articles by others.

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